How to Air Print from iDevices without an air printer
Quick Mac Tip, 22 May 2011
If you have the right printer you can print wirelessly from your iPad without plugging the device into anything. But chances are you don’t have one of the 17 printers (at time of writing) that allows you to do this. Jo Fothergill has figured out how to use your existing printer instead.
This guest Tip is written by Jo Fothergill.
This new wireless printing capability is called AirPrint:
AirPrint on iPad makes it simple to print your email, photos, web pages, and documents. There’s no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect. With just a few taps on your iPad, you can go from viewing something on the screen to holding a printed copy. …
“No cables” means exactly that. AirPrint printing is 100 percent wireless. iPad automatically locates and connects to AirPrint-enabled printers on your Wi-Fi network.
Jo Fothergill is a primary school teacher working with 8 & 9 year old students in New Zealand. Having spent the last 30 years playing with computers, Jo has spent the last 8 years exploring all that is Mac.
Printopia gives you Air Printing with other printers
If you’re like me you have an iDevice or two that is capable of air printing but you don’t have an air printer. If you have a Mac running on the same wifi network as your iDevices the problem is solved with a piece of software for your Mac called Printopia from ECamm.
Printopia comes in a demo version which you can use for a week to see if this product is really for you. (Thumbs up for this — I’ve noticed more and more companies aren’t providing demo versions.
Full version is US$19.95 — totally worth it in my opinion.)
Install it on your Mac and set up the printers you want to share. An added benefit here for Dropbox users is that ‘Send to Dropbox’ is one of your print options!
Once you’ve set up Printopia and sharing is on you can now check out your iDevices.
I initially tested this in Safari but this works anywhere where there’s a print option.
I opened a web page and touched the print icon. There are four options, the last one being
Touch the option you want to use, then print.
After a moment a PDF will pop up on your Mac desktop and print to the selected device.
It’s a similar process with your iPhone. I’m running a 3GS and it worked fine so will work well with your iPhone 4 too.
Both my iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 are running the latest updates (4.3.2). Both printed actual paper copies of the web pages I selected but more importantly for me, both sent the selected pages & photos to my Dropbox. Printopia created a folder in the main directory called Printopia.
It was a simple matter to then open my Dropbox and find the PDF version of the page/photo I’d printed waiting for me.
On a side note I discovered it was a very easy way to send my screenshots from my iDevices to my Mac without syncing or emailing them. I ‘printed’ them to my Dropbox!
- Install and set up Printopia on your Mac
- Your Mac base computer must be running on the same network for this to work!
- Choose your print option from your iDevice